Democratic Rival’s attempt to remove PSC candidate and SPOTLIGHT Publisher fails
Several months ago, SPOTLIGHT South Cobb News Publisher, Shelia Edwards, announced she was in the race for Georgia Public Service Commissioner for District 3. Like others who had decided to run, Edwards paid the qualifying fee and was approved to run in the election.
As she went across the state sharing her message with voters on why she is the better candidate in the race, Edwards learned that a complaint had been filed by a supporter for a rival Democratic candidate with the Secretary of State’s (SOS) office challenging her qualifications based on her residency.
She was soon contacted by the SOS office to attend a hearing. Edwards did not agree with the challenge and hired an attorney. Together, they went before an administrative Judge to plead her case as to why the challenge was wrong.
Last week, a ruling from the Office of Administrative Hearings for the State of Georgia declared that Shelia Edwards, Democratic Candidate for Public Service Commission for District 3, remains on the ballot for the Georgia Primary scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Administrative Law Judge Shakara M. Barnes issued her ruling in favor of Edwards.
Edwards was represented by Ann S. Brumbaugh, Esq. During the hearing, she testified that she looked at the treatment of fellow Cobb County resident Fitz Johnson when deciding to seek the PSC District 3 seat. She believed she could fill the unexpired term because he was a Cobb County resident who was allowed to do so.
In making her ruling, Judge Barnes agreed with Edwards saying, “…undisputed evidence presented in this matter indicates that Mr. Johnson, the member appointed under § 46-2-4 to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Eaton’s departure, was a resident of Cobb County at the time of his appointment. At that time, Cobb County was not part of PSC District 3; thus Mr. Johnson was not a resident of PSC District 3.” Based on these facts, the Court concluded that Edwards is qualified to be a candidate for Public Service Commission District 3.
Commenting on the ruling, Edwards said, “This has been an unnecessary distraction. An attempt was made to have me disqualified based on a false assumption and misinterpretation of Georgia law. I am glad to have this matter settled so that I can spend the final days of my campaign getting my message out to the voters. As we enter the final days of this primary season, I wish each candidate well as we approach the finish line. I hope everyone in this race can conduct themselves with a true public servant’s heart like our gone but not forgotten civil rights leader, the beloved Congressman John Lewis. John did not tear anyone else down to build himself up.”
The Primary Election is Tuesday, May 24.
For more information on her campaign for Public Service Commission, go to electshelia.com